Head Teacher's Blog

Please keep an eye on the blog page and read the entries below to learn about what has been happening in school. 

Mrs Whales

8th March

It seems that World Book Day at Northaw School was great fun. Unfortunately, I was unable to join in due to training commitments, but I am told the children’s costumes were amazing. All the staff came to school in their pajamas armed with their favourite childrens bedtime story to share with the children. Working in their house groups, the children rotated through various book based creative activities. The money raised on this mufti day will go to "Save the Children", our chosen charity this year. If you forgot to send in the £1 donation, it’s not too late – just drop it into the office where there is a collection box.

We have a representative coming from Save the Children next week to deliver an assembly. She will be talking about global injustice and telling us how our fund raising is helping children everywhere.

We will also be selling Red Noses in school next week so please send your child in with £1.25 if they wish to purchase one during break time.

1st March

Happy St David’s Day!

This week we launched our focus on the Christian value of ‘justice’. We have encouraged the children to reflect on what is important to them; to learn about the courage of people who have stood up against injustice; to think about how even small actions can make a difference. Thank you specifically to our ‘tidy team’-Will and Chloe, who have picked up all the litter around our school-well done!

Next week we look forward to Pancake Day!

‘The arrival of Lent is heralded by pancakes. Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a day of preparation before the season of Lent begins. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness at the start of his ministry, after being baptised by John (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus fasted during his time in the wilderness, and so some Christians identify with his suffering by abstaining from particular foods during this time, including meat, fish, milk and egg products. The recipe for pancakes is great for using up milk and eggs before giving up these things.’

Ash Wednesday...

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, a day of penitence or cleansing of the soul. Many Christians will attend Lent services, and be marked with a cross of ashes on their forehead. Traditionally, the ashes come from burning the previous year’s palm crosses. The ash cross is a sign of mortality, based upon the idea from the book of Genesis that humankind came into the world from dust and will return to it. It is a time to express sorrow over sin, and a reminder that Jesus brings freedom from sin.

And World Book Day...

Details of this have been sent to you before half term. We are looking forward to a fun- filled day and a festive lunch. Please send your children dressed in their fancy dress outfits.

This week, we said farewell to Mrs Gillard, who has retired after 19 years as a midday- supervisor here at Northaw. She has many new and exciting adventures planned for her retirement and we wish her lots of happiness for the future.

15th February 

Well done to Willow class who thoroughly enjoyed their school visit to Celtic Harmony on Tuesday. They experienced life in pre-history, making clay pots, baking bread and carving arrow heads out of soap! Thank you to all parents and carers who organised travel to and from the venue.

Our Reflection Rangers organised and delivered worship this week. They were comparing the stories of Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers to the Bible story of The Lost Sheep. They focused on our Christian value of perseverance and the messages that can be found in both stories. I was really impressed with their knowledge and emotional literacy.

We have noticed that some children have been arriving late to school. The school gate opens at 8.35am and closes at 8.45am. Our attendance officer is due to visit us next half-term; she will be paying special attention to families who are regularly late for school.

Finally, we hope that you enjoy a restful half term. Please eat well, sleep and relax ready to start the new half term...on time!

Don’t forget we have a Clothes Recycling Bank just outside the school gate. We receive commission from UK Textile Recycling for deposits of clothing and shoes (paired up and bagged). The money we receive helps towards providing prizes for school run competitions and special awards. It is better if you use carrier bags for deposits as large bin liners sometimes get stuck!

8th February 

We received two congratulatory letters this week. The first was from our Local Authority who congratulated us on our Ofsted achievement, ‘It is pleasing to see a school maintain a judgement of good under the current Ofsted inspection framework.’ The second was from Rt. Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education and Rt. Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, who congratulated us on our Key Stage 2 reading score of 100% children reaching or exceeding the expected standards in reading. This puts our school in the top 1% of primary schools in England! Well done Northaw team! Thank you to our digital leaders who delivered a fantastic presentation to parents and governors at our Staying Safe event this week. Feedback about the presentations was very positive; parents were grateful for the information and the opportunity to discuss ideas with other parents. The slides and pupils’ presentation will be put on the website. Please take a look so that you can keep ahead of your children! Our Staying Safe week successfully covered many areas of the PSHE curriculum as well as information about online safety. Please talk to your children about how they are learning to manage their worries and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Miss Calder, our SENco works here at Northaw on Tuesdays. If you need to contact her, please call her when she is here and not at Ponsbourne, where she works for the rest of the week.

1st February 

Well today has been an exciting day! The children who attended school today enjoyed a fabulous time making snowpersons. We had some very tall ones, a plethora of creative ones and even a unicorn/dragon sit on model!

We are sorry if the snow was an inconvenience but we will always endeavour to stay open in order to give children an education, whatever form that may take.

Next week is our Staying Safe week. Children will learn more about online safety, how to keep themselves safe and who they can talk to if they are worried.

Most of you will be aware that our Christian value for this half term is perseverance. This is something that many children find difficult. Very little that is really worthwhile in life can be achieved without perseverance.

25t January

It seems like winter has started at last! Please be aware that the pathways may be slippery, and the roads may be icy, but we will endeavour to stay open whatever the weather. However, if snow falls and we are in school, please send your children in with a spare pair of joggers and a pair of wellies!

Our Christian value for this half term is perseverance. The children have been nominating friends who have demonstrated this value. Learning is about resilience; we hope that you can support your children at home by giving them opportunities to persevere.

I will persevere in explaining the importance of organising your lives so that your children arrive to school on time. I understand that some delays are unavoidable (as many parents experienced a couple of weeks ago). But for some regular latecomers, I have a request! Please would you leave home a little earlier. Punctuality is important as children should not miss out on their vital ‘Early Work’. They should be able to enter the classroom calmly and ready to start the day.

Finally, our digital leaders will be presenting their important messages about staying safe online during our staying safe event on Tuesday 5th February. Please come along to support them and hear about the new social media apps and their health warnings. It’s always good for parents to be up to date with advancements in this field, to keep ahead of the children and to be aware of any potential hazards. The sign-up sheet is available in the school office-book your place now!

18th January

It has been a really pleasant start to the term. The children are working hard and behaving well. We are pleased with the way that they have embraced our Christian value of perseverance. Some children have written some fabulous prayers and some children have applauded the resilience that they have witnessed in their friendships.

This week governors looked at our new school vision: Loving for Today, Learning for Tomorrow, Forever in Faith. We will be sharing this with the children in the coming months, looking at the 6Rs that underpin the vision and coming to an understanding of what this means for us. We are hoping that some creative work may come from this learning. Any ideas from families would be welcomed! I am pleased to inform you that the signing up sheet for our ‘Staying Safe’ evening will be available next week. Do let us know if you are planning to come along. It should be an informative evening.

Finally, some lovely news! Before Christmas we entered the Hertfordshire Primary School of the Year awards for contributions to PE. I am pleased to say that we were one of the eight finalists! We did not win but this is a fantastic achievement as there are 488 schools in Hertfordshire!

11th January

Welcome back. We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and New Year break.

Thank you to everyone who took note of our tweet about the road closure at the beginning of the week. It was fabulous to see such a clear road! We were told that the disruption could take up to 23 days! It lasted 24 hours! As it was such a relief on our first day back, I respectfully request that you can leave home in time to park in the Two Brewers, at Judges or the village hall so that it relieves the congestion and danger in the road.

Our Christian value for this half term is perseverance, which fits in nicely with our 6Rs and particularly the R for Resilience. We have asked the children to contribute prayers relating to this very important value; it would be great if parents and carers could send in contributions too.

Just to let you know...the children’s reports will be given out on Friday 15th February and our parents’ evenings will be on Tuesday 2nd April, 3.30-6.30pm and Thursday 4th April, 4.30-7.30pm. A signing up list will be available nearer the time.

Please also diary our Staying Safe evening for parents and carers on Tuesday 5th February at 7.00pm. Learn all about the latest online pitfalls and how to keep your children safe online. Kathy Lammas will also be updating you on how to deal with children’s mental health and wellbeing. It should be an interesting evening.

Finally, a little reminder...please ensure that your children wear black school shoes as per our uniform policy and not trainers. We would like our children to continue being Northaw smart!

20th December 

Firstly, I wish to say ‘thank you’ to so many of you who completed the online ‘Parent View’ questionnaire and to all the parents who sent in supportive emails. The staff and I appreciate the confidence that you have in us. Whatever the Ofsted outcome, I would like you to know that we will always have the best interest of your children at the forefront of our work both academically and personally. This is a fabulous community and we will continue to celebrate that!

Well done and thank you to everyone who celebrated the end of term with us in church this morning.

Thank you also for your many gifts and festive wishes. We appreciate your kindness.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

14th December

Well done to our PTA who ran a very successful ‘festive fun’ event last night. Thank you to everyone who helped to set up and clean up after the event. The children had a really good time!

We are looking forward to a marvellous Christmas performance this evening. After a fabulous dress rehearsal this morning, we are hoping that the children perform well for you tonight. Donations tonight will be for our school charity for the year, ‘Save the Children Fund.’

Well done to our choir who sang at Waltham Cross Pavilion and Cuffley Manor. Thank you to all the adults who sang along with them and a HUGE thank you to SOUTH MIMMS COACHES who provided the bus to Cuffley Manor, FREE OF CHARGE. The children were so well looked after at Cuffley Manor; our thanks go to everyone who made the visit so memorable.

We have not finished yet! We are looking forward to our Christmas lunch next Tuesday and the pantomime on Wednesday.

On Thursday, our end of term service STARTS at 8.45am. Please arrive at church promptly so that we can start together and on time! Please join us for this special service when we will be celebrating the onset of Christmas as well as giving out end of term certificates. We respectfully request that you come along to enjoy this service and keep your mobile devices tucked away.

7th December

What a fantastic start to our Christmas performances! Acorns class made us all cry with their marvellous singing and performing of The Sleepy Shepherd. Well done to all the children and thank you to all the adults who helped to make the performance such as success.

We are very grateful to Hannah, our piano teacher, who encouraged our musicians to perform to parents and carers. What a talented bunch of children! Today we enjoyed helping to get the St Thomas’ Christmas Tree Festival started. The children lifted our spirits with their wonderful singing and they reminded us of the saints whose lives are commemorated during Christmas and Advent.

This week, our Junior Travel Ambassadors delivered an assembly based on ‘Be bright, be seen’. They talked about the importance of wearing bright coloured jackets and reflective clothing during the dark winter months.

Despite many pleas, we are still finding that parents and carers are ignoring our appeals for sensible parking and driving. Too many are still attempting 3 point turns on this very busy road. Too many are still parking on footpaths, in front of driveways and the yellow lines. In the rush and the bustle of the season, please be mindful of the children and their safety.

We have noticed that many children are choosing to wear trainers to school. Please be reminded that trainers are not black shoes. We expect all of our children to wear the appropriate uniform as mentioned on our website. When we return to school in January, we would like ALL children to wear the correct uniform. (Children are welcome to change into trainers for play times if they wish.)

Next week, Apples and Pears, Willow and Oak children will be practising for their performance. Their performance to you will be at 7.00pm in church on Friday 14th December. Further details will be emailed to you next week.

Finally, following valuable feedback from parents and carers during our open evening last July, governors have created a new motto for our school. All will be revealed in our governor newsletter which will be emailed to you soon. Watch this space!

30th November

Thank you to our PTA representatives for bringing a little sunshine and joy into our wet and windy week. The children enjoyed being happy shoppers on Wednesday and today they have relaxed in their Jeans & Joggers for mufti day, entering into the spirit of Christmas by bringing along some goodies for the Christmas Festive Fun afternoon. (Thursday 13th December @ 3.05pm). So much hard work goes on behind the scenes to make these special occasions perfect for our children. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far.

In worship yesterday, the children talked about the plight of refugees and their endeavours to find a safe place for their families to live. We talked about the refugees Abraham and Sarah in the Old Testament and also Mary, Joseph and Jesus’ escape to freedom in the New Testament.

The children have now started to write Christmas prayers based on the Christian values of trust and respect. We would really like to receive some words from parents and carers too. Please contribute your ideas either by email to admin@northaw.herts.sch.uk or on a piece of paper.

Please remember the church Christmas Tree Festival is next Friday afternoon starting at 2.30pm. Come along and sing with your children.

23rd November

Thank you for dressing your children in their best uniform on Tuesday; they did look very smart for their photographs!

Now that there is a definite chill in the air please would you make sure that your children have a warm coat to wear at playtimes. Christmas time is fast approaching and we would like children to be fit and well for all the festivities.

We have received information regarding the film that was made of the children dancing last week in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness. It is due to be aired on YouTube and Sky channel 191 on 3rd December at 10pm. Look out for our stars of the future!

Mental health and wellbeing is one of our focus areas on our School Improvement Plan this year and our recently advertised Raising Confident Kids is part of this programme. The providers have kindly offered the evening of Tuesday 4th December at 7.00pm for the delivery of the programme. Please sign in at the school office to confirm your attendance.

Next Wednesday is the PTA Christmas Sale day; please remember that the proceeds do go to a good cause, your children’s school! Next Friday is JEANS and JOGGERS day, a good choice for the cold weather! Donations towards the liquid tombola and the festive hampers will be much appreciated. (more details overleaf)

Finally we welcomed a visit from our Local Authority Attendance Officer this week. We know that most of you work very hard to ensure that your children come to school regularly and on time and ready to learn. However, we are still getting a few families who are persistently late. Our officer will be concentrating on these in the spring term so please be advised to get your children here on time before the black gate closes.

16th November

Your children have enjoyed a wonderfully active week! Firstly, almost all children performed a dance as part of a routine organised by MHD. The dance moves mimicked the feelings associated with mental health and wellbeing. Children have been encouraged to talk about their worries and to share their feelings with trusted adults. Izzy and Harry were interviewed as part of the programme; their thoughts were sensitively articulated. The film crew hopes to get the film edited and ready for the television before Christmas. We will keep you updated.

Mrs Taylor took some children from Oak class to a tag rugby session at Hertford Rugby Club. She applauded their enthusiasm and excellent behaviour. We are so proud of our polite participants.

We have been talking with our PCSO about parking problems outside school. Please do your best to park sensibly, not on the pavements where the children are walking, nor in front of our neighbours’ driveways. Three point turns in the road are too dangerous and parking in the school car park is not allowed unless you have mobility issues. If this is the case, please pop in to school to get a permit from Trudy.

The PTA organisers have been busy preparing for the festive fun season. Please look out for their newsletters, texts and requests for support. Things are unlikely to happen unless you contribute- every little helps!

Finally, can I draw your attention to the Raising Confident Kids workshop; this is part of our mental health and wellbeing programme, which is designed to help you to help your children. Please support and come along on Tuesday 4 December at 7pm. Please let Trudy know if you are coming so that we can provide enough refreshments.

9th November

I hope that you and your family enjoyed a restful half term. We are now heading into an exciting glue and glitter season with plenty of wonderful celebrations ahead of us.

This week has been a lovely week; Willow class enjoyed a brilliant Warburton’s workshop yesterday, learning about healthy meals and the process of bread making. Children in Apples and Pears have been creating algorithms about sandwich making in their computing lessons. The week has been full of sports activities and dance moves. Filming of the ‘dance’ takes place next Tuesday, so please get your permission slips in to us as soon as possible.

The problem of road safety and parking outside the school gates has come to our attention again. Yesterday one family experienced a ‘near miss’; imagine that this was your child-it is very frightening! The Walk to School week worked so well in the summer, please would you put your winter warmers on and continue walking. I am meeting with the new manager of Judges next week; he has already agreed to you parking safely in his car park in the mornings. The Two Brewers managers have also agreed to you parking in their car park. Please leave home 10 minutes earlier and park safely.

26th October 

Thank you for your support over this very busy and very long half term. We are all ready for a break! Thank you to so many of you who turned up to see our pirates on parade. I particularly enjoyed the dancing in those fabulous costumes.

This week, we enjoyed eating cake on our Macmillan charity coffee morning, raising £131.79. We sold lots of books during our parents’ evening and raised £63.05 for Save the Children, and Paola said many, many thanks for the wonderfully creative poppies that you should soon see displayed locally. Thank you so much for all these contributions. The Poppy Appeal continues after half term, when various stationery items and poppies will available to buy in school.

Sadly, we said farewell to Sharon Gale this week. Sharon is taking time to be with her family and explore more creative art projects. She has promised that she will come back and visit us and help us out when we need some artistic inspiration! We are very grateful to Lynn Hardy, who has agreed to carry on with the art clubs.

Finally, please enjoy a lovely half term, whether you are relaxing or getting active. We look forward to an exciting half term full of the joys of the festive season. Please make your very best efforts to get your children to school on time and ready for learning.

19th October

This term teachers have been focusing on making our curriculum exciting, creative and relevant for our children. They have managed this whilst maintaining high standards of achievement and behaviour. Curriculum topics have ranged from dance and drama to healthy eating and pirates! When asking the children about their learning, one child said to me. 'We have learnt how to be safe and happy!' What more can I say! It’s not only about knowledge but how we acquire it.

We are looking forward to sharing your children's progress with you next week at the Parents’ Consultation evenings and we hope that together we can continue to help your children to be safe and happy.

12th October

Well, it sounds as though Oak class enjoyed a lovely week at the seaside, so many wonderful and exciting activities, I was almost jealous!

If you haven’t signed up for consultation evenings, the sign-up sheets are still available in the school office. On Thursday 25th October between 4.00 and 5.00pm our Inclusion Coordinator, Miss Calder is available to discuss any concerns that you may have. Please phone Trudy to book an appointment with Miss Calder if required.

During our parents’ evening we will also be having a book sale; there will be a selection of good quality books for children and adults. (50p-£2) Proceeds will go towards our charity, ‘Save the Children’, so please bring along your hard earned cash! Reminder: for those of you, who have registered, please bring in your ‘old techy stuff’ on Monday for collection. Have a lovely weekend.

5th October

What a busy week it’s been again!

It started with a lovely Harvest Festival service in Church and continued to give us much to be thankful for.

Apples and Pears had a great time at the Agility Games, organised by Hertford & Ware Small Schools Partnership.

Archdeacon Janet visited us on Wednesday; she was very complimentary about our school and our delightful children.

We have enjoyed lots of outdoor activities thanks to the beautiful sunny weather in the latter part of the week.

I am so proud of our Netball Team! They have demonstrated all of the 6 Rs this week – just look at the smiles on their faces!

It will be quiet next week with Oak class away at PGL – let’s hope the weather stays lovely for them.

28th September

The children have enjoyed an exciting week at school beginning with the sunny BRUNFAST on Tuesday morning. Thank you to the many of you who turned up for breakfast, stayed to vote in our PTA reps and supported the children by running around the field with them! Some of you ran around many times to accompany your 3 children - how impressive! Huge thanks to our PTA for organising the event. Please send in you sponsor forms and donations as soon as you can. Thank you!

On Tuesday evening a number of parents claimed their free gifts at our Beyond the Curriculum evening. As a result of this support, we will be putting on another event aimed at ‘Raising Confident Kids’ in the future. Details will follow the next few weeks.

On Wednesday, Elaine Batten from the Broxbourne Foodbank talked to the children about the value of their Harvest contributions for local families in crisis. She introduced a competition called ‘£ on a plate’- the information for this was tweeted earlier in the week.

What a beautiful sunny week it has been; enjoy the last of the summer warmth, the fresh air and an active weekend. I look forward to seeing you all at our Harvest service on Monday morning.

21st September 2018

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for our ‘Beyond the Curriculum’ evening; we are looking forward to giving you your free gifts. I hope that you will not be disappointed!

We are also looking forward to Brunfast on Tuesday morning. We will be hoping to raise funds that will go towards an all-weather surface. We welcome any fundraising ideas from you so please come along on Tuesday morning to volunteer your ideas.

Yesterday, Trudy sent an email to you regarding poppy-making. We would like to create a nice display in school to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War 1. If you have any red material that you could donate for our display, please would you bring it in to the school office. We hope that you enjoy making the poppies too.

14th September 2018

Thank you to those of you who managed to attend our Meet the Teacher events this week. We hope that you found them useful. Copies of the Looking at Learning leaflets are available on the school website and in the front entrance.

I am really disappointed to have received requests from parents asking for term time holidays. Both the School and the Local Authority take the view that taking children on holiday during term time can be damaging to a child’s educational progress for two reasons. Firstly, children find it very difficult to catch up on the learning that they have missed, which is often in three week blocks so missing one week is equivalent to missing three weeks. In the longer term this can have a negative impact on their progress. Secondly and as importantly, children can be given a very unhelpful message about the value and importance of going to school.

I will not authorise any term time holidays unless the reason is truly exceptional. The cost of a holiday is NOT an exceptional circumstance. There are 12 weeks holiday in a school year; by taking holidays during the designated holiday periods, you will be supporting your child’s full school attendance, learning and development. I do hope that you will support your child in this matter.

We were sorry to get a complaint from one of our local residents this week- and it’s only the second week back! Last term so many of you chose to walk from the village hall and the Two Brewers; this relieved much of the congestion outside school and made crossing the road safer. We urge you to continue with the good practice that you started so well last term. If you cannot walk and need to park directly opposite the school, please do not obstruct the driveways and please do not park near the driveways so that vision of the road for residents is impaired.

7th September 2018

Welcome back! I hope that you all enjoyed a sunny, summer break. Your children have returned looking very ‘Northaw’ smart! Thank you.

We have two new members of staff to introduce to you: Mrs. Hayley Hood, our new Business Manager, will be working here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It would be really helpful if you could pay any outstanding bills so that Hayley has a fresh start.

We also have a new Inclusion Coordinator, Miss Lauren Calder, who will be working with us every Tuesday. She will be working closely with my staff and me to support our children with additional needs.

Meet the Teacher events take place next week. These are opportunities to find out about class organisation and teacher expectations. ‘Looking at Learning’ leaflets, which itemise the class curriculum for this term, will be available for you to take away and share with you children.

Advance notice: on Tuesday 25th September at 7.00pm we will be holding a special event for parents and carers called, ‘Beyond the Curriculum’. More details will follow next week.

I look forward to seeing you all in church on Monday morning, apart from Acorns children. Reverend Kilgour will be delivering worship based on Giving thanks to God. You are welcome to stay and worship with us.

20th July

Thank you for your support and contributions to our sports day and summer fair event. We were so lucky that the weather stayed fair but not too hot! Our special thanks go to the PTA members who set things up and left at 7.15pm on Wednesday after they had tidied everything away. We would like more support next year please so that the workload is spread.

The Leavers’ service this morning was beautiful. Thank you all for your kind gifts and cards and kind words. I really love the oak tree; it’s a wonderful reminder of our children, everyone different just like the fingerprints!

Our next PTA event in the new term will be on the morning of 25th September. This is a sponsored event; the PTA is sending home sponsorship forms just after the holiday. The event will start with a BIG Breakfast, followed by the PTA AGM (whilst everyone gets a chance to digest their breakfast) followed by a Family Mile! You do not have to run and the event will take place on our school field. Further details and breakfast orders will take place early next term.

Finally, I would like to say well done to all the children who have demonstrated the 6Rs and gained special certificates in recognition of their achievements.

Enjoy a fabulous summer break.

13th July

We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Open Evening. Thank you to everyone who made the event so special.

We are able to celebrate some good end of key stage results this year: thank you to everyone who has enabled these learning outcomes.

Early Years Foundation Stage: 75% Good level of Development

Year 1 Phonics: 93% pass

Year 2: Reading 100% expected progress

Writing 60% expected progress

Maths 87% expected progress 

Year 6: Reading 100% expected progress

SPAG 93% expected progress

Maths 83% expected progress

As you can see from these results we can certainly celebrate the work that we have been doing on reading. Our focus this next academic year will be writing and this is in our School Improvement Programme. Details of this are available on our school website.

There will be no church on Monday; children should be brought straight into school on Monday morning. However, you are all welcome to join us at our Leavers’ service in church on Friday.

6th July

School life this week finished in a lovely meeting with our new reception parents and carers. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces and meet some new friends. We were pleased to hear ‘welcome’ information from our PTA members, governors and school nurse. The school nurse outlined some innovative services, which parents can access, and some new strategies for measuring and supporting children’s mental health and well-being.

Our week has been filled with the final assessment of our SEND provision by colleagues from Herts for Learning. Our provision has been judged using the aptGO tool which is an audit and planning tool focusing on special educational needs and disability. The tool comprises of 36 areas each of which requires a firm evidence base to inform a judgement. I am pleased to inform you that 20 of the areas were judged as outstanding and 16 good. We are thrilled with this outcome.

Following a visit from our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner yesterday, we can also tell you that she was very pleased with the provision and practice in place here at Northaw. We have worked hard to achieve these high standards and now need to continue working hard to sustain them!

Well done to Oak class for a fantastic dress rehearsal this morning. Mums and dads, you are in for a treat! What a fabulous way to end the week!

29th June

We have only three weeks left until the end of term and there is still so much to do! In the absence of a business manager, Trudy and I have been busy keeping the school operational by completing asbestos management surveys, insurance renewals and many other documents! It would therefore be of enormous help to us if you would settle any outstanding debts such as breakfast club, ‘active week’ voluntary contributions and PGL final payments by the end of next week please. It would be good to give our new business manager a clean sheet for the start of the autumn term.

Children who enjoyed a world cup lunch yesterday have been given a ‘Spot the Ball’ competition. Please bring this into school by Monday 2nd July.

Next Friday Oak children are due to perform ‘The Tempest’ to parents and carers in the village hall. Please note a slight adjustment to our timetable.

Children arrive at the village hall at 6.00pm Doors open to parents and carers at 6.30pm The show will start at 6.45pm

Each family will be allocated 3 tickets. (Sorry no children under the age of 5, Northaw children will see the dress rehearsal). The tickets will be collected on the evening (for fire safety purposes). Tickets will be given to the children on Monday, so please look for envelopes in their school bags! If you are not going to use all of your tickets, please return them to school as soon as possible. Please ask Trudy if you require more tickets, these will be allocated on a first come first served basis. There will be no charge for the tickets but a donation towards Children in Need would be appreciated. This will be collected after the show.

22nd June

We have enjoyed a fantastic ‘active’ week, introducing the children to new sports and activities. It was lovely to see different children succeed when trying new sports and overcoming fears. Thank you to everyone who has transported our children to activities; from the very positive feedback that we have received, this has been truly worthwhile. A small number of children have been selected to represent our school at the Small Schools District Sports event at Wodson Park next Monday. We hope that they display the good ‘sporting’ behaviours that they have shown this week.

It has been a good time to introduce the children to the Daily Mile. We hope that you will help us to keep this activity going through the summer break as we intend to run a sponsored event involving families on 25th September. More information will follow shortly.

We hope that you enjoy a sunny weekend. Please make sure that children have their sunhats and water bottles next week as it looks like it is due to be a sunny week ahead.

15th June

I have been very fortunate this week. I have enjoyed some brilliant training: the first was about all of us, adults and children, helping children with autistic traits to learn and interact. The strategies apply for all children but need to be made more visual and explicit for those with tendencies. The second training was about anti- bullying strategies. Again it was encouraging to hear that we are using some effective methods at Northaw. High expectations of good behaviour consistently applied and the positive use of Christian values, which emphasise respect for all. Please help us to instil and encourage respectful relationships in our community, recognising our diverse backgrounds, cultural differences and personal challenges.

We are looking forward to 'active week' next week. Perhaps you can encourage your children to continue to walk to school and enjoy keeping fit and healthy! Clean air day, next Thursday, is another no car day, please would you make a special effort to walk and breathe in our lovely Northaw air!

8th June

We hope that you all enjoyed the half term break. This week has been a quiet week, which has enabled us to organise the exciting weeks that are ahead.

You will have already received notification of events occurring in our Get Active week; this is an amazing fun-filled week full of activities and sports competitions on a scale that Northaw children have rarely experienced! Whilst we are able to fund the activities using our Sports Premium funding, we find the transport to and from the events more tricky. We therefore appreciate your support in either taking your children to the events if requested, sharing transport with your friends or paying a small charge to help us cover costs.

Well done to everyone who has continued to walk to school. This is good for your children’s health and fitness and great for our neighbours! The lack of congestion outside.

25th May

Thank you, thank you, and thank you! What a marvellous ‘walk to school week’ response! I am so proud of everyone who has made the effort to walk to and from school. Some children have walked three miles before school! The difference it has made has been remarkable; no near misses outside the gates, no congestion, just calm and happy children. Please make an effort to walk to school as often as you can. Please don’t let old habits creep back in.

We are hoping to design a spiritual garden for our school and this year’s Spirited Arts competition focuses on special places. We would like our children to enter this competition. Please encourage them to make a start using the information below. The Key Stage 2 might like to research ideas from different religions and incorporate them into their design. Only the best ideas and neatest presentations will be selected, so please encourage your children to take care and to add detail to their design.

‘This theme asks pupils to think about holy buildings and places of worship or pilgrimage. Perhaps one(s) they have visited? Can they show in a work of art what makes these places special, sacred or holy? Are they friendly places? Are they peaceful? Good places for thinking, praying or feeling close to God? Children might design their own holy space. Some entries will focus on the idea of holy spaces in the natural world as well: mountain top, river side, sunset beach. What about a holy city? Encourage pupils to read and use scriptures from different religions about what makes a place holy. We’d love to see work on Varanasi, Makkah, Bethlehem, Bodh Gaya, Jerusalem and Amritsar.’

Enjoy your half term.

18th May

My, oh my, thank you for making such a special effort today. Your children look fabulous as guests of the royal couple! Thank you also for your generosity, your gifts of bottles and sweets have been much appreciated.

Well done to all of our Year 6 children who sat their SATS this week. They behaved in a mature and responsible manner and we are really proud of them all.

Next week is ‘walk to school’ week. We really hope that all of our children get to walk or scoot to school. This may only be from the village hall or The Two Brewers but every step helps. The children will be earning footprint stickers for their class. At the end of the week, the class with the most stickers will enjoy extra playtime.

Enjoy a royal weekend.

11th May

We hope that you have enjoyed the sunny week. We have!

Earlier this week, we emailed you with information regarding nominations for the ‘Best School’ run by Welwyn and Hatfield Times. It would be wonderful if you could spare a moment to complete the nomination form. We would love you to share information about the wonderful partnerships that we have with you and be recognised for the excellent provision that your children enjoy every day!

Let’s see, if together, we can win!

Welwyn and Hatfield Times will also be taking photos of school celebrations for their royal wedding issue. We look forward to seeing those ‘special guest’ outfits next Friday.

Finally, next week is SATs week for Year 6 children. We look forward to seeing them use the 6Rs throughout the week. Good luck!

4th May

I have received some lovely work from children across the school based on their RE work on Saints. This work will be exhibited in church at the end of the half term; I do hope that you will be able to find the time to come and look.

In this busy ‘test’ focussed time of year, we need to take a moment to remember the ‘other’ talents that children may have and celebrate them. We are not all academics!

In school we encourage the children to be the best that they can be. This also means that we expect them to be the best behaved that they can be too; in other words, to know how to behave and to respond with respect and responsibility. Most children do this brilliantly. We have high expectations of good behaviour here at Northaw and we really appreciate the support that we get from parents and carers in helping us to achieve these high standards. Thank you.

Enjoy the long weekend. Let’s hope that it stays sunny! Willow Class have just arrived back from their class trip to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Temple. I am told their behaviour was impeccable. Well done Willow pupils – we’re very proud of you.

27th April

This week I enjoyed the privilege of inspecting another church school in the St Albans’s Diocese. The school was a little bigger than ours but nevertheless, understood the need for upholding those Christian values which we advocate in every working moment of our time in school. I am always so proud of our children, when they spontaneously offer kind words or volunteer to help. An example of this is a small group of children who have recently volunteered to be our Tidy Team; they pick up litter, they tidy the cloakrooms and they do this without any reward other than being proud of their effort.

On Wednesday, Governors appreciated the training that has enabled them to focus on getting ready for Ofsted. I can’t believe that the time has come around again! The results of the questionnaire that you kindly completed during parents’ evenings are now on our website but it would be helpful if you could complete this online. Many thanks!

Our skipping competition is well on its way! If your child has been practicing skipping at home please send in a photo to school, we would love to display their picture on our P.E board.

20th April

I hope that you enjoyed a restful Easter break.

This term our Christian value is Friendship. This half term’s family challenge is to make a friendship label for someone who you would not normally call your friend. Observe the reaction when someone receives this token of kindness! Let us know how it goes.

Today we shared our attendance data with our Area Attendance Officer. Whilst the vast majority of our children attend school regularly and on time, there are still a few children whose attendance is well below the acceptable levels. Whilst we understand that illness cannot be avoided, please be aware that loss of learning time has a detrimental effect on children’s achievements.

It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that Rachel McHattie will be leaving our school after 14 years’ service to Ponsbourne St Mary’s and Northaw CE Primary Schools. We wish her much happiness in her new role at St Columba’s School, where her children attend. No more racing across Hertfordshire during the rush hour!

28th March 2018

The spring term has flown by and we are looking forward to the summer weather and longer days. The children have worked really hard this term and recent assessments show the good progress that they have made, some of them quite substantial. This is not only due to the brilliant teaching but also for many children a change in mind-set. We truly admire children who ‘have a go’ and who are not afraid to get things wrong as a part of their learning. Resilience is one of our 6Rs and we continue to ask our children to use this in work and play.

Well done Oak class, who enjoyed a very successful visit to RAF Hendon as part of their topic on World War 2. We were able to cut the cost of this trip by collaborating with Bayford and Ponsbourne schools. We have received notification of funding for 2018-2019 and things are looking very tight. We ask you please to settle all debts so that we can set a budget that will benefit your children. Cuts in classroom support may be necessary if we have to pay for swimming, trips and clubs out of this money. If you have any genuine difficulties with payments, please speak with me privately.

We have received phone calls about inconsiderate parking from our neighbours yet again. This is very upsetting and embarrassing for us. Unless you are dropping off at Breakfast Club before 8.15am, please do not park opposite the zig-zag lines or in the school car parks. Spaces are available at The Two Brewers and the village hall; it doesn’t take more than 5-10minutes to walk around to school. Please allow yourself enough time to avoid any accidents.

Finally, on a happier note, I wish you all a restful Easter. Thank you to everyone who has helped us in school, at the swimming pool and on school trips this term. We are very grateful for your time. If you would like to volunteer to help in school, please talk to me early next term.

23rd March 2018

Our Reception and Apples and Pears children enjoyed a fabulous sunny visit to Whipsnade Zoo on Wednesday. The children behaved impeccably and were a credit to the school. Thank you to the parents who were contacted at the last minute to help out due to staff sickness. We appreciate your very quick response and your time.

Please remember to support our "Tesco Bags of help" campaign which

is currently running in: POTTERS BAR Superstore, POTTERS BAR Mutton Lane Express, CUFFLEY EXPRESS and HAMMOND ST CHESHUNT Express

Every time you shop please collect your tokens and deposit them in our slot in store. We hope to collect the most so ask all your family and friends too!

I would like to invite you to our end of term Easter Service in church on Monday morning. Please come and share the celebration, 8.45am as usual.

On Monday afternoon there will be a funeral in church which may mean extra cars in Vineyards Road at home time, so please allow plenty of time to park responsibly and respectfully.

Wishing you all a lovely Easter break.

16th March 2018

We have been enjoying a rich and diverse curriculum this week. The choir made us proud at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday evening. Thank you for all the positive emails from parents and carers who genuinely enjoyed the show! On Thursday, children in Year 5 from Ponsbourne school, joined our Year 5 children for a Robotics workshop led by our colleagues from Setpoint. The leaders commented on the positive relationships, collaborative working practices and children’s understanding of coding. Well done children and Mrs Taylor.

Today our pianists and singers performed to an audience of parents and carers. We would like to say thank you to Hannah and well done children.

Our Christian value for this half term is forgiveness. Forgiveness is fundamental to the character of God. Throughout the Bible, God is described as slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin (Numbers 14:18). We have been trying to teach the children the value of forgiveness through our Teaspoon Prayers and the British value of tolerance. Perhaps in the busyness of life, we sometimes need to take time to reflect rather than react.

9th March 2018

It’s good to have a "normal" week at school after that surprise spell of arctic weather. We apologise that the ice and snow meant things have had to be re-scheduled and thank you for your patience and understanding. Our Reception and Apples and Pears class will now visit Whipsnade Zoo on Wednesday 21st March when hopefully they can enjoy a warm spring day!

Our Choir will be singing at the Royal Albert Hall this Sunday in the Hertfordshire Schools’ Gala. I have heard them practising and I am sure they will be great ambassadors for our school.

Today we have enjoyed our World Book Day. Thank you to Mrs Howell, Mrs Stratton- Stubbs and all the staff who planned such an enjoyable day. There were some splendid costumes! 

Thank you as well, to the PTA for hosting our Mother’s Day afternoon tea, and thank you for the lovely donations of cakes.

23rd February 2018

I am really pleased to share with you two sets of attendance figures; one for last half term and one for the first half of this academic year. For most classes this is a tremendous improvement. Well done! Sometimes it is the absence of only one or two children that skew the data. This is why it is important for your child to attend regularly and on time.

Thank you also for coming along to our parents’ evenings. These are good opportunities to discuss your child’s achievements as well discussing ways that we can work together to make further improvements in the second half of the year. I would like to say a special thank you to all of you who completed our questionnaire. The results of this will be shared with you soon. It would be really fantastic if you could also do this online: http://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk

The Year 1 children performed their Minions Dance at Hertford Theatre this week. They were the youngest of all the performers and they were brilliant!

We are looking forward to an exciting week, next week, when Acorns and Apples and Pears will be off to Whipsnade Zoo and all the school will enjoy a creative World Book Day.

I can’t wait!

9th February 2018

We have enjoyed an exciting ‘Staying Safe’ week with presentations from the NSPCC and Network Rail. The children have also taken part in bespoke e-safety lessons with a view to keeping safe when online.

Thank you to parents and carers who came along to the E-Safety Parents’ Evening; Mrs Taylor appreciated all of your positive comments.

‘Following last year’s evening, this was a good update.’

‘I am now aware of how to restrict inappropriate content and it doesn’t feel as daunting.’

Your children’s reports have been sent home today. We hope that you find our comments and requests for support helpful. Please complete the back page and send this into school by the end of February or better still, bring them with you to the parents’ evening after half term.

Also, on the report, is your children’s attendance. Data is taken from the start of the school year. If your child’s attendance is over 96%, this is brilliant! If your child’s attendance is between 90% and 96%, we are monitoring it very closely. Attendance below 90% is regarded as Persistent Absence, and is monitored by the Local Authority Attendance Officers. If attendance is not improving, we will ask you to come into school to see how we can help.

We hope that your children enjoy the Great Northern rail competition. 1st prize-£30 voucher, 2nd prize-£10 voucher, 3rd prize-books and pens. Entries due in on Wednesday 21st February, entries will be displayed at Cuffley Station.

Have a lovely half term.

2nd February 2018

Following on from last week’s newsletter, I invite you to read this quote by Martin Luther King:

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But... the good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’

In school, we have been asking children to identify their strengths and be proud of them. In times of booster classes, tests, assessments and pressure, it is good to find some strengths and celebrate them. Days at school are jam packed with "busyness", ask your children what they did well today and let us know what they said!

26th January 2018

I have noticed that news headlines this week have been particularly grim. Perhaps sometimes we need to reflect on what is good in our world and how we can make it better.

Having the courage to do what is right has been a real ‘values’ focus for our worship this term and we have reiterated this on a weekly basis. Have a look at this clip that was shown to the children in worship this week.


Teachers are busy making the final touches to your children’s reports. As they are distributed half way through the school year, we have mentioned areas that your children might focus on in the forthcoming months. We have also mentioned reasons for celebration; let us not lose sight of what is good!

19th January 2018

I am so proud of our Oak children who enjoyed a fabulous, informative visit to the Houses of Parliament on Monday. We were pleased to meet up with our MP Charles Walker, who gave us an insight into the workings of parliament and his personal perspectives about his role as our MP. Thank you to Oak class for their excellent behaviour and interesting questions.

Following a PTA meeting today, I would like to say a big thank you to parents and carers who supported our fundraising events in 2017. The PTA has kindly donated £6,000 to the school for an interactive board in Oak class and to update resources in the Early Years. Our project for 2018 will be supplementing our Sports Premium funding. We would like to install a running/walking track, which can be used in all weather. As we move into the warmer weather in the summer term, we hope to introduce The Daily Mile so that our children improve their fitness. Look out for more information on this later this term.

Dates to keep free:

Your children’s reports are due out on Friday 9th February. Opportunities to discuss these and your children’s targets for progress can be discussed during Parents’ Evenings which are on Wednesday 21st February, 3.30-6.00pm and Thursday 22nd February, 4.30-7.00pm. Signing in sheets will be available during the week before half term.

PTA Quiz Night at Old Owens Sports ground will be on Friday 23rd February, doors open at 7.00pm, quiz starts at 8.00pm. Tickets will cost £8.00 each (nibbles included!) Can you make up a table of 8?

And finally...the PTA representatives are looking for raffle prizes to use during this event. Please support.

12th January 2018

I am pleased to inform you that our Looking at Learning leaflets will be sent out with your children today or on Monday. These give you information about what your children will be learning in class and how we would like your support.

Rehearsals for the Royal Albert Hall concert have started; I am amazed at the children’s enthusiasm and the effort that your children put into singing and that’s not just the choir!

Signing club also started today; we are pleased with the increasing number of children who want to learn this valuable skill.

Booster classes for Years 5 and 6 have also started this week. These sessions are delivered by teachers, who give up their time to accelerate your children’s learning. I am sorry if it means that you have to pay to bring the younger siblings to breakfast club. In order for us to meet correct staff-pupil ratios, it means that we have to pay the right number of staff to attend. We are lucky that they are able to do this at the start of their day. Unfortunately, we do not have a solution but if you have any ideas, we are happy to listen.

5th January 2018

We hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas break. Thank you again, on behalf of my staff, for your generosity to all.

We are looking forward to another busy term of learning and we would like your continued support with home learning. ‘Looking at Learning’ leaflets for each class will be coming out to you next week. Whilst this is a short half term, it is packed with exciting learning for all of us. An e-safety evening is planned for 7th February at 7.00pm. We will be asking some of the children to help us deliver some important messages so please book the date in your diary.

We are continuing to encourage our children to grow their brains by using the 6Rs. Ask your children about them!

We are really lucky at Northaw. We have a richly diverse community; children come from many different backgrounds. Many come to us with special educational needs and difficulties; for these children we are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ according to the SEND Code of Practice and they may therefore be treated differently so that they can access learning. Our school is good at adjusting to the needs of the children and in general, most children come to school happy. Please help us by enabling strong friendships within our caring Christian community by being tolerant of others.

15th December 2017

We have enjoyed yet another week full of festivities and celebration. Thank you to all of you who have supported our choir, our PTA event and the many performances across the school. Thank you also for being patient with us during the adverse weather conditions.  Thank you to Terry, who helped to clear the school site on Tuesday morning so that we had safe access.  Thank you to Ginnie and her team, who cooked us a fabulous Christmas dinner again! We are so lucky to have such a brilliant cook manager and team, who give our children healthy dinner choices every day.  We sadly say goodbye to Ms Batts next Tuesday. We would like to thank her for the contribution that she has made to our school over the past few years. We will miss her! Acorns class will have a new teacher in January, Mrs Burton, who has already been into school to meet the children and staff. Please make her feel welcome as she gets used to our school routines.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. 

8th December 2017

We often say that Christmas is about children which is true; it is a joy to watch the delight of a child opening presents. But Christmas is also about one child, born 2017 years ago, out of wedlock, in poverty, in an occupied country. He became a travelling teacher, told stories that are still told today, and challenged us to accept God’s love in our lives. The story of his birth, like the story of his life, is amazing. We will be telling the story in different ways in all our performances this Christmas and you and yours will be very welcome. Come and hear about the real Christmas story.  We have already been celebrating Christmas with our friends and neighbours; today we sang with our Northaw friends at St Thomas’. We do hope that you can support the Christmas tree festival this weekend.   Our school choir also sang to our friends at Coopers Croft. We are very grateful to Paul at B&L coaches who provided the minibuses to transport our children at a much-reduced rate. Thank you, B&L coaches, for your generosity. 

1st December 2017

We welcomed Pastor Matthew and his team of volunteers from Life Church to give our children a wonderful Christmas experience. We are really grateful to the team, who resourced five stations with activities related to the Christmas story. This experience gives our children the opportunity to ‘dig deeper’ into learning, especially in RE.  Rehearsals for our Christmas performance have begun. We will be taking several journeys to church next week so please make sure that your children have warm coats t

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